Rafael Nadal produced another stunning chapter to add to his legend at Roland Garros, where he won another Grand Slam title, taking his all-time men’s singles record to 22 majors. The Manacor native returned to the courts this week at the Mallorca Country Club, venue for the Mallorca Championships next week.
The first player in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin was back on the grass courts to test himself after medical treatment for his foot in preparation for Wimbledon.
“I’m happy. I haven’t limped for a week and the evolution of training is progressing,” the Spaniard said. “Day by day the pain has been different and that’s progress. I have to wait a bit My intention is to try and play Wimbledon and this week told me there was a chance.
The Balearic islander’s plan is to travel to London on Monday to prepare for the third Grand Slam of the year.
“I had two treatment sessions, as planned. At the moment the progress, in my opinion, is satisfactory,” he added of his medical treatment last week.
However, Nadal is cautious, adding: “I’m cautious because I know things change. For the moment, I have been able to train over these five days. It’s progress and it allows me to come back to Wimbledon after three years. I’m excited about this. It’s about taking it day by day, but giving myself a chance to compete.
The Spaniard has not graced the lawns of Wimbledon since 2019, when he reached the semi-finals (left of Roger Federer). “I haven’t played on grass for three years, you have to be patient with the progress. Every day I improved and I still have a week of training in London before starting the tournament. I hope I can use it to become competitive.
He also mentioned the fact that he is riding a wave of momentum that will serve him perfectly for an event of such magnitude. So far in 2022, he holds a 30-3 record.
“It’s true that playing well at Roland Garros gives confidence, but grass is a very difficult surface. Every turn is complicated. The beginning of the tournament will be vital for me because, if you manage to progress, later the opponents are more difficult, but then you have more confidence because you have found your rhythm on the grass”, he explained.
Photo credit: Mallorca Championships
Despite Nadal’s caution, a wider perspective reveals a new challenge the Spaniard faces. After winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros this season, he is trying for the first time in his career to win the first three Grand Slam tournaments of the season.
“On the men’s circuit, no one has made the Grand Slam since Rod Laver,” Nadal said. “Novak Djokovic came the closest to it last year. If it’s rarely done, it’s hard to imagine, even more so at 36.